GPS tracking is used in many different ways to optimize resource allocation, improve accountability, and drive business success. However, it is important to understand employee GPS tracking laws and policies before implementing any new technology.
Fleet managers should be transparent and open about GPS monitoring to foster trust and buy-in. This begins with clearly describing how the system works and conveying its value to employees.
What is GPS Tracking?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System and is a network of satellites that send out signals that can be tracked. GPS tracking devices can be placed on cars, phones, and other objects to monitor their location. The devices communicate with satellites to determine a person’s or object’s exact location, which is then transmitted to a monitoring device and/or app. GPS tracking is useful for both businesses and individuals, as it can be used to locate loved ones or find items that have been lost. It is important for businesses to understand local and state laws regarding GPS tracking and establish a policy based on those laws. Companies should also obtain consent from employees before using GPS tracking technology in employee-owned vehicles or personal devices.
Employees may feel violated if they are monitored without their knowledge, so it is important that managers establish clear monitoring limits and only use GPS tracking when it is necessary for business reasons. The policy should explain when and how tracking will occur and clearly outline what data will be collected, where it will be stored, and who will have access to it. This will alleviate privacy concerns and ensure that GPS tracking is justified and complies with all laws.
Implementing GPS tracking is a great way for businesses to increase efficiency and productivity. By knowing where a vehicle is at any given time, dispatchers can more easily answer customer questions or resolve issues that arise on the road. It also allows them to track ETAs, which helps customers know when their order will arrive. GPS tracking is a valuable tool for trucking companies, as it can help them meet IFTA state fuel tax and ELD requirements to avoid costly fines.
In addition, GPS tracking can be a useful tool for tracking equipment and inventory. For example, equipment rental companies can use a GPS tracking system to record engine hours for each piece of machinery and then track maintenance needs and schedules based on those numbers. A reliable GPS tracking system will save companies money by eliminating unnecessary repairs and replacements.
The Benefits of GPS Tracking
GPS tracking is an effective tool for businesses of all types and sizes. However, implementing this technology successfully requires employee acceptance. Many employees may feel that GPS monitoring is an invasion of privacy or a way for employers to micromanage their work, so addressing these concerns and creating a positive culture around using this technology is important.
GPS monitoring allows companies to track the exact location of vehicles and equipment at any given time, providing insights into how and where assets are being used. This information is useful for optimizing operations, reducing costs, and improving customer service. For example, when a company can monitor vehicle locations, it can easily identify inefficiencies and implement cost-saving measures like reducing fuel consumption, minimizing idle time, and optimizing routes. Additionally, companies can use GPS to monitor driver behavior, ensuring safety practices are being followed and that customers are receiving their goods or services in a timely manner.
One of the best ways to ensure the successful implementation of GPS is to train employees on what the system does and how it works. Training is also an opportunity to address employees’ concerns or questions. This can be done with face-to-face meetings, online videos, or phone support. In addition to training, it’s a good idea to provide employees with clear policies and procedures that outline when GPS tracking will be used and how data will be protected. Having clearly defined regulations can help prevent misuse and ensure compliance with local laws regarding privacy.
For the construction and field service industries, GPS tracking can improve project management by enabling managers to monitor the whereabouts of employees, equipment, and vehicles. This helps to minimize downtime by enabling workers to find needed tools and equipment quickly. It also helps to reduce the cost of operations by enabling managers to optimize resource allocation and streamline workflows. GPS tracking can also be used to protect valuable equipment and vehicles from theft or unauthorized use. Lastly, seeing real-time delivery or service ETAs can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty by allowing employees to respond quickly to customer inquiries.
Getting Started with GPS Tracking
While many people are familiar with GPS technology, from fitness bands to running apps, and location-based product promotions, it is increasingly becoming vital in the workplace. With its ability to improve operational efficiency, fleet management, logistics transparency, and return on investment rates, the use of GPS tracking is gaining momentum in the transportation industry as businesses strive for better performance.
Employees may not be thrilled about being monitored – especially in this day and age of Big Brother, Artificial Intelligence, drone deliveries, and gadget-loving Gen Y and Z workers – but the reality is that GPS monitoring is inevitable in the modern workplace. However, growing legal guidelines help establish boundaries to limit employer abuses and provide employees with a sense of trust that their privacy is being respected.
It is also important to understand and follow local laws regarding GPS tracking. While federal law permits employers to monitor their employees’ locations, it must be done only with the employee’s consent and only for legitimate business purposes. If an employer chooses to track off-site and off-hours, they should first prepare a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that seeks the employee’s consent, clearly explaining the monitoring terms and conditions.
Aside from improving productivity, GPS tracking can help prevent payroll disputes and other conflicts by providing accurate data on the time spent at each job site. This allows for more realistic project forecasting and budgeting, helping companies avoid misunderstandings and misallocation of resources. It also promotes accountability among employees, as they are likelier to make good work choices when their actions are closely monitored.
In addition, GPS tracking can help reduce fuel costs by providing insight into the driving habits of each employee. Specifically, it can help identify driving behaviors like speeding and harsh acceleration that increase fuel consumption and decrease mileage per gallon. By encouraging good driving behavior and penalizing the bad, a fleet can significantly cut its transportation costs while maintaining the same level of quality service.
Implementing GPS Tracking
If your company is considering implementing GPS tracking, you should understand that it’s not just the technology that will impact your project’s success. How you strategically implement this technology will determine how much it benefits your logistics and fleet management operations.
Successfully implementing GPS tracking means being transparent and upfront with employees regarding the monitoring. It also involves empathizing with the discomfort that inevitably comes with being monitored and genuinely accommodating both sides. This is especially important if you’re tracking employees on their own personal devices, such as with a BYOD policy. To avoid legal risks, prepare a clear policy outlining when GPS tracking is acceptable and ensuring that it occurs only during working hours and on employer-owned assets.
Once your organization has a clear plan for implementing GPS tracking, you’ll need to train all users on how to operate the system. This will ensure that the technology is being used effectively and maximizes its potential for your business. It will also keep your employees aware of new features, best practices, and updates to the software.
In addition to ensuring that your workforce is trained to use GPS tracking, developing a culture of accountability is essential. When employees know that they are being tracked, it can prompt them to work more diligently and efficiently. This, in turn, can improve productivity, reduce payroll disputes, and enhance overall customer satisfaction rates.
GPS tracking can be a valuable tool for your logistics operations when implemented properly. It can help improve the lifespans of your trucks, reduce fuel consumption, and boost operational efficiency. It can also eliminate the time spent battling backlogs and illegible handwritten timesheets and save money on phone calls from customers to confirm that drivers have been to their jobs.
However, to realize the full benefits of GPS tracking, it’s critical that you choose a reliable partner and implement the technology in the right way. Ideally, you should work with a vendor offering its own GPS software to streamline and integrate this information into your logistics operations. This will save you time, money, and resources while minimizing any privacy concerns your workforce may have about being tracked.